Throwing three kids, some possessions, in a slightly modified truck and going to Albania for a month, for example? Does he seem improbable, dangerous, foolish? No way. It’s beautiful, a little sexy, incredibly rewarding, but beware, to many of the characters are aggressively adventurous Addictive … Sure, you have to say goodbye to a hot shower, comfortable toilet, regular daily routine, and endure a little discomfort and frequent touches to your loved ones, but the open horizons are worth it.
In grandfather’s time, our family has been doing this for seven years. And because I’m primarily a photographer, and documentary filmmaker, with a camera as an integral part of myself, an authentic record of these trips has been created naturally throughout. For me, these are not vacation photos, they are windows to our story, to our road movie.
Štěpán Hon is a photographer. Her author’s text introduces a new photography book We have a European dailyAnd it’s definitely not a standard guide, but an inspiration. The first part includes Romania, Albania and Portugal.
View the photo gallery with a selection of photos and book samples (Posted with permission by Štěpán Hon)
The first volume of the European Journal consists of three chapters: Romanian, Albanian, and Portuguese. It’s packed with not only images that will take you on a journey with us, settle in and launch our car at the end of each chapter, but also texts from which you’ll learn a little interesting information, narrative animation maps. It will take you into reality with an overview of each country and you can follow our itinerary on it.
a Between the lines we reveal our knowledge of how to travel this way. Gently and completely.
For the first time, in early June and July 2014, we went to Norway for a crazy trip in the midnight sun. We ran into him far from the Arctic Circle. During this trip they defeated S.Slovak museums, taking on many ferries, caught mackerel one by one glittering in the waters of the fjord, met comrades and natives, bathed in a salty golf creek and sweet waterfalls. And the habit came right after the first flight.
At first we were just driving in a big blue box, a Nissan Interstar truck with two rows of seats and a 175 x 175 cm sleeping floor behind them. There was a lot of things thrown under the ground and a box of pallets with food supplies. No more, no less.
Marnes, our youngest, was four years old. When we were tired, we stopped somewhere in the wilderness, well on an apartment so we could sleep well, and when Andilka picked up a tooth, we found a dentist. Gradually, we discovered that there was no problem, the cards are valid in stores just as they are in ours and the doctor’s insurance card. When something happens, it has to be bought, and when you get into the car, you have to find someone who has a bigger car to pull you off.
After Norway, we’ve enriched the cabin with sophisticated storage, cabinets and shelves. They bought an inflatable boat, another battery under the driver’s seat, and a 220V adapter. It is followed by Romania, Great Britain, Albania, Portugal, the Baltic countries and Slovakia.
With each new trip, we improved the car’s interior a bit and discovered more about the country we’re heading to. And as in the beginning, we set ourselves some specific goals: to explore the Danube delta, cross the Loch Ness, to conquer the westernmost island in Europe. But these were shallow targets, chosen completely randomly so that we can place our finger on the map, roughly where we are pointing.
Ultimately, the most important thing in every of our travels is always the journey itself and the unexpected encounters with the people, landscapes, and animals associated with it. We always try to penetrate the basic, capture the face and see the spirit of the area we are heading to. So far, we have occupied seven European countries, and have spent more than five months on the road and covered 40,000 kilometers.
And this year, after being trapped by the lockdown without being able to work or travel, we decided to organize our adventures into an exciting story, which will bring you texts, photos and graphics not only an authentic record of our adventures, but also a lot of information about the areas we have visited. You can take this as a way to shorten the waiting period for the border to reopen and get some inspiration.
And what when the borders open? The most important is Do not be afraid and set off. And when you set out, treat the host country and its landscape with humility, leave nothing behind and go into the woods with a shovel (this is a message from my wife Clara). Act so that those who come after you don’t find any traces of you, so that everyone feels they are discovering and not recycling … Happy journey at better times.